Online videos depicting the practice of using mechanically manipulated decoys while turkey hunting have prompted several inquiries to the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources about the legality of using them in Alabama. Under current law, certain forms of turkey decoys are illegal in the state.
Mechanically-manipulated decoys are illegal in Alabama under hunting regulation 220-2-.11, which prohibits the use of any turkey decoy that has mechanical or electronic moving parts or is capable of producing movement and/or sound. Examples of these range from decoys mounted to radio-controlled cars to those which are mounted directly to the barrel of a shotgun and mechanically-manipulated by the hunter.
In recent years, hunters in North America have been mistaken for game while hunting with the aid of mechanically manipulated decoys. This year, two hunters were mistakenly shot in Girard, Kansas, while turkey hunting with decoys.
Conventional non-mechanical and non-electronic turkey decoys are accepted and legal in the state of Alabama.
Paying attention to coloration while turkey hunting is also of concern. Alabama’s hunter education program advises hunters to never wear red, white or blue clothing that could be visible to another turkey hunter. These are the colors of a spring gobbler’s head and neck. Observing safe hunting practices and abiding by state hunting laws benefits hunters and guarantees that the time-honored tradition of turkey hunting in Alabama will remain for future generations.
For more information about hunting wild turkey in Alabama, including sighting in a shotgun, field dressing your turkey harvest, hunter safety and more, visit www.outdooralabama.com/wild-turkey-hunting.